How to Cite Papal Documents in Turabian

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Turabian citation format, which is drawn from the Chicago Manual of Style, requires using certain forms to cite various kinds of documents in a report or paper. Citing documents issued by the Vatican or the Roman Catholic Church in a bibliography requires the same information as most other documents, including the title of the document, its author(s), and date and location of publication.

List the author, if there is one listed in the document, as last name, first name. If the author is the pope, list him by his papal name.

Next, put in the title of the document. Italicize the title of the document. Place a period after the title. List the date of the document’s publication, followed by a period.

List the place of publication, followed by a period. If the document is available online, list the Uniform Resource Locator where it can be found. A full example is:

Pope John Paul II. On Social Concern (Solicitudo Rei Socialis). 30 Dec. 1987. Papal Archive. The Holy See.


  • If the author(s) are a collective or organization, list the collective by its full name: for example, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Place a period after the author’s name. If there is no author, start by listing the title.


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